Friday, February 19, 2010

Frugal Friday: Homemade Ziptop Bag Dryer

I love tips that help me re-use something. It saves money and it's the green thing to do. Green = Good... just ask Al. And saving money is good... Real Good.

Insert somewhat unrelated soapbox rant here: I think I am going to scream if I hear another sentence that starts, "In this economic environment...." I know it is the cause of a lot of worry in our nation (myself included), however, I haven't heard a phrase overused more since "What-ever."

Anyway, back to what I came here for. I wanted to share something that I use on a regular basis that is "green" and saves money. A Homemade ZipTop Bag Dryer. To some, re-using those bags are the ultimate signs of an over-the-top cheap tightwad. And others might argue that if I really wanted to be thrifty and help the environment, I wouldn't purchase them at all, I would stick with only glass containers rather than disposable ones.
But there are just some things that warrant a plastic bag - either for freezer cooking, snacks on the go, packed lunches, separating his leftover pizza from her leftover pizza (because heaven forbid a pepper touches his piece), etc... you know what I mean.
So, whenever possible, I wash out the bag, dry it and re-use it. Especially the more expensive gallon-sized bags. There are a few rules I follow: the bag must in good shape, not have held raw meat, and it's not just too gross to bother with.

My biggest problem re-using the bags for the longest time was getting the bags fully dried. I would try to towel dry them, which would help somewhat. But I was finding that if I didn't get it fully dried then stored the bag, it wouldn't be worth using later.

I needed to be able to completely air dry them, but how do I prop open my bags to drip dry? Necessity is the mother of invention, right? So I came up with this very "high-tech" creation.
Lightly wad up the newspaper and shove it in a quart container. Stab in a few wooden skewers (mine has 3 or 4) into the paper so that they are secure. And you have a homemade ziptop bag dryer.
I still try to towel dry my bags quick before placing them on here. But then I place the whole contraption on a kitchen towel on the counter, hang my bags on the sticks and in the morning I get perfectly dry, ready-to-reuse bags.
Want more Frugal ideas? Check out Life as Mom.

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